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30 December 2014

Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness

It's 1932 and the world is reeling from The Great Depression. Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie (aka Georgie), the 21 year old great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria (and 34th in line for the throne), leaves her family home in Scotland. She's been living there with her boring half-brother, his uptight wife and their forgettable son (I only vaguely remember that he exists) and decides to make it on her own at their other family home in London.

She has no allowance. 

She has no servants. 

She has no useful life skills. 

Her prospects are to be married off, shipped off to an aging relative to be a lady-in-waiting, or to make it on her own somehow.
Luckily for her she has old school friends nearby as well as her maternal (non-royal) grandfather. Even her mother pops in from time to time (which is about all she's done for her entire life). She needs their support -- and for more than just a good meal and learning how to set a fire so she doesn't freeze to death!

There's a murder, of course, as well as some smaller side-mysteries. All the while we have Georgie working as a maid (in cognito, of course), dealing with her foray into real (well, possibly real, anyway) romance, and being asked by the Queen to spy on her cousin, The Prince of Wales. 

Now, with the book title being "Her Royal Spyness" one might think that this last part tackles the majority of the book.

One would be mistaken. It is an awfully cute title, though, and the reason I was first drawn to the book in the first place.(Well-done, book titlers!) It does open up the possibility for more fun on behalf of the Queen at the very end, though. (Literally "at the very end" with the last sentence of the book.)

Pros: I love the time period and the setting -- big draws in choosing the book to read. Georgie is a treat and her best friend Belinda is a riot. I loved watching how Georgie grew over the course of the book from being quite helpless and a bit of a doormat to quite capable and a bit of a pip -- at least where her sister-in-law in concerned.

Cons: Really, I can only think of one and that's the choice of romantic interest for dear Georgie. Something about him just rubs me the wrong way. It's not a HUGE con, though, and certainly won't prevent me from continuing the series at this point.

1 comment:

  1. I love Bowen's other two series, but put off reading this one for ages because it was about "royalty," or so I thought until Selah set me straight. Then there was the time period. Your "pro" was a "con" for me. Although I read a ton of classics they're set earlier than this, 19th Century is my favorite.

    Anyway, I finally decided to give this series a try and now it's been in my "next" pile for month. I put it on my list for the 20 Books of Summer Challenge, so finally it will get read sometime in the next three months.